Someone asked us the other day, “How have campaigns changed over the past decade?” After some thought, here is my response.
Churches are not as reliant on mailed pieces. They still produce a solid brochure, but most churches are not mailing as many ancillary pieces of literature.
Church’s websites are being used more fully and effectively in campaigns.
I can’t remember the last church that hired a professional videographer. Most churches have skilled volunteers who are willing to step up to the plate.
We are doing more debt campaigns than we were ten years ago. Often, the church wants to retire debt and do something else, like renovations or missions.
No one spends big bucks on a celebration event anymore. In years past, churches would rent out a hotel ballroom and spend lots of money on food and entertainment. No more.
Four couples meeting at someone’s house for coffee and dessert to hear about the campaign is a thing of the past. In some settings this might work, but only if people actually meet in homes for coffee and dessert already.
Some organizations are conducting virtual campaigns, using only teleconferencing and conference calls. While we do weekly conference calls the last two months of the campaign, we still find there is no substitute for being on-site. Our on-site visits have not decreased any over the last decade. We believe relationship is important, and you cannot build that just over the phone.
I don’t know if this is a true change, an emerging trend, or just our more recent campaigns, but I do see more Early Commitment Team leaders who are willing to be bold. These leaders are willing to challenge fellow members to make a big gift.
Online giving is here to stay. Some churches who have been slow to adopt have used the campaign as the impetus to begin. Many church members begin giving online with their first contribution to the campaign.